Here’s your viewing guide for the entire weekend. Enjoy!
As usual, all times Eastern and all predictions wrong.
8:00: Texas Agricultural and Mechanical @ Texas (ESPN): In a move to ensure a full day of football, TAMU and Texas agreed to move their game from Friday to Thursday night. Of course, the game probably won’t be that good, since it is in Austin and TAMU is really bad. Texas names their own score and attempts to prevent Oklahoma from leapfrogging them in the polls.
12:00: West Virginia @ Pittsburgh (ABC): Both teams enter the Backyard Brawl with 7-3 records. But are these records created equal? Both teams have a loss to Big East champ Cincinnati. Outside of that, WVU had early season losses to ECU and Colorado, and Pitt lost their opner to Bowling Green and later on to a resurgent Rutgers. But “resurgent” seems to describe both these teams, really, because mentioned above WVU has only lost once since losing to Colorado back in September. I would say it comes down to coaching but we’re dealing with a matchup of the Wannstache and Bill “Somewhat Incompetent” Stewart. So then it comes down to players, and one of these teams has Pat White, and that’s WVU.
12:30: Mississippi State @ Mississippi (Raycom/Gameplan): A moment of silence, please.
This is the last game for the Daves. I wrote about this back in August and it applies now. I just hope that ESPN’s regional syndication arm picks these guys up. As for the game itself, Ole Miss should win handily.
2:30: Louisiana State @ Arkansas (CBS): LSU is not a very good football team. We know this now. I would say Arkansas is really bad, but has anyone noticed that their worst margin of losing since the Auburn game is 7 points to South Carolina? I still favor LSU here, but don’t go predicting blowouts here.
3:30: Colorado @ Nebraska (ABC): Colorado’s 2 Big 12 wins came against two of the worst teams in the conference (Kansas State and Iowa State). While winning here gets them to a bowl, I think Nebraska pulls it out.
6:00: Fresno State @ Boise State (ESPN2): I tried to watch the San Jose St. – Fresno State game last week and just ugh. This Fresno team isn’t really trhat good and will probably suffer mightily in the cold on the blue turf up in Boise.
9:30: California-Los Angeles @ Arizona State (ESPN): Both these teams need a win here to maintain an outside shot at bowl eligilibility. Of course, ASU has the easier path since they play the relatively tame Wildcats of Arizona next week as opposed to USC. UCLA’s only road win this year was @Washington, so I’m going to go with the Sun Devils here.
- Georgia Tech @ Georgia (CBS): To Hell With Georgia.
- Virginia @ Virginia Tech (ESPN): The lines are drawn and regardless of the above result if VPI loses Georgia Tech will play in Tampa next week. UVA is fighting for a bowl spot and is riding a 3-game losing streak into Blacksburg. VPI hasn’t really been puching the consistency close themselves, either and lacks a serious amount of any offensive competence, as shown in the so-called football game played against Duke last weekend. That said, I will pick VPI but root like hell for UVA.
- South Carolina @ Clemson (ESPN2): The Citadel and South Carolina State are the main reasons why Clemson is 6-5 and not bowl eligible. They need to win here against South Carolina to get to a bowl. With resounding wins over, well, um, Duke and UVA they’re getting hot at the right time. South Carolina has been mostly consistent in the muddled middle of the pack of the SEC. They got absolutely waxed at Florida two weeks ago, though, so it’s tough to make a call here. With the noon start, I don’t think there’ll be a huge advantage for Clemson at home and I’ll take the Gamecocks, though I view this game as essentially a pick ’em.
- Miami @ North Carolina State (Raycom/Gameplan):NCSU has amazingly won 3 straight against mediocre competition. Miami had won 5 straight before their shallacking last week at the hands of GT (woo). Neither of these teams are particularly good in my opinion. NCSU just, well, isn’t despite their 3 game winning streak, or perhaps more accurately I refuse to believe they are. Despite having an offense led by Pat Nix, I don’t really think that Miami is as bad as they showed last week. So the question may be whether NCSU as good as the team that manhandled UNC last week? I really have no idea. A coin flip says Miami.
12:30: Missouri @ Kansas (FSN): Missouri, try not to overlook Kansas too much on your way to the Big 12 title game, eh?
- Auburn @ Alabama (CBS): As much as I hate to admit, Alabama can and will win tomorrow. Hopefully it’ll at least be close.
- Florida @ Florida State (ABC/ESPN2): I saw somewhere the line was UF by 16.5? Yeah. I’d take Florida to cover.
- Maryland @ Boston College (ESPN2/ABC): Quick summary: BC wins and they’re win. Maryland wins and FSU is in. I’ve liked BC all year and I like them again here.
- Baylor @ Texas Tech (Versus): TTU was embarrassed last weekend. But the odds of it happening again are slim. TTU wins.
6:30: Kentucky @ Tennessee (ESPN2): Tennessee may have beat Vandy last weekend, but I think it was more of Vandy not playing well more than anything else. Of course, Kentucky lost to Vandy and hasn’t shown any indication recently of being decent. Relucantly going with Tennessee here.
7:00: Oregon @ Oregon State (Versus): This is the second biggest game of the day in terms of the potential money involved for the Pac-10 and Big Ten. Oregon State should win, though. Oregon is not a bad team, of course. But both these teams have played an equivalent Pac-10 schedule, and Oregon State has just been consistent through the Pac-10 over the past few months.
- Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State (ABC): Perhaps the most important considerations of this game are that OSU is a pretty good team and they are at home. But Oklahoma has just been better throughout the year, and while this series has had plenty of stunning upsets in recent history I think OU prevails Saturday night.
- Notre Dame @ Southern California (ESPN): Southen Cal names their own score against hapless Notre Dame.
Happy Turkey Day, everyone!